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1 февраля 1998 года.
Tverdovsky's in a zone

By TIM WHARNSBY -- Toronto Sun Phoenix Coyotes fans were beginning to wonder about Oleg Tverdovsky.
 Was he worth all the fuss? Did this fourth-year NHLer deserve a $3.1-million US, two-year deal after missing the Coyotes' first 35 games because of contract squabbles? Why was this offensive defenceman's production down as low as the Canadian dollar?
 The past two games have erased the questions surrounding Tverdovsky's play.
 The 21-year-old Russian has checked in with seven points in his past three games, including a goal and an assist in the Coyotes' 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs at the Gardens last night.
 But prior to his big week, Tverdovsky had been good for just one goal and one assist in his first 15 games this season.
 "The points will come. I'm very confident about that," said Tverdovsky, who went pointless in his first eight games. "I'm getting lots of chances and as long as I have those, I'm not worried about points.
 "Sometimes you go 15 games and get two points and the next 15 games you get 15 points."
 This must be Tverdovsky's productive 15 games.
 He collected two assists in the Coyotes' 4-4 draw against the Red Wings in Detroit last Wednesday and Friday night he was brilliant in scoring twice and setting up another goal in a 3-3 tie in Buffalo.
 Even better, all three of Phoenix's goals came on the power play, an area the Coyotes have struggled with this year. They are 18th in the league, a stat that was blamed on the fact Tverdovsky didn't sign with the Coyotes until Dec. 19.
 "We're really getting our power play going and that's great because the power play is a main thing to winning a lot of hockey games," Tverdovsky said.
 With two power-play goals last night, the Coyotes are 6-for-11 on the power play in their past three games.
 Against the Sabres, the smooth-skating Tverdovsky, who possesses one of the hardest shots in the league, notched his first two-goal of his young career.
 Prior to signing with Phoenix, Tverdovsky played 14 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL and scored eight goals and 14 points.
 With Tverdovsky in the lineup, the Coyotes are 10-4-4.
 He doesn't regret his contract fight.
 "I always felt I was doing the right thing and I'm at peace with myself," said Tverdovsky, who was prepared to announce on Dec. 22 he would never play for Phoenix again. "Both sides believed in their positions."

Страничка Олега Твердовского на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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